4 out of 5 Stars
Author: James and Leo Behan
Publisher: Skywest Publishing
Buy The Secret Gospel of Ireland
Reading Level: Liesure
I love a bit of history mixed with theology. The Secret Gospel of Ireland examines a sliver of church history tracing the vein of theology which impacts Christianity in Ireland and then explores how Irish Christianity impacts Europe. One aspect that I truly appreciate is the careful handling of the Medieval period. The Behans say,
And perhaps most cynically, it was a time of bondage to the gloom and superstition of religious belief: a time before science and reason liberated the West from blind faith, the fetters of ignorance, and those who would seek to exploit faith and ignorance for wealth and power. Or was it? (p. 7)
They also don’t neglect the impact Christianity played in the development of Europe (p. 9).
What will interest many of the readers here will be the focus on life and theology of Augustine. They trace the development of the gospel in Ireland back to him. If you’re unfamiliar with his life story and basic theology then this will provide a concise introduction.
If you’re interested in Irish history or the theology of Augustine then I would recommend picking up The Secret Gospel of Ireland. It will engage you. It’s a book that could be read by just about anyone. The writing is extremely approachable. My only quip would be that I wonder if there may be conflation especially in the description of Augustine as Roman Catholic (talk of mass and popes in the 300 AD seems a bit early).